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Putting together a list of gifts to bring back

Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
85 posts
25 reviews
20 helpful votes
Putting together a list of gifts to bring back

We're getting a list together of the gifts we want to bring back to various people when we go on our trip and just want to go over the list with the forum. I've done a bit of searching and got a few good ideas. We really want to bring back gifts that are representative of the regions we visit or at least traditional, and are looking at expensive gifts for people that are dear to us and inexpensive ones for casual friends. Here's some of the ideas we've put together:

Venice: Dear - Murano glass, coral Jewelery, traditional masks

Cheap - glass baubles, toy gondolas

Verona: Anything traditional that you can think of? Perhaps something related to the Opera festival? Romeo and Juliette souvineers for the cheapies?

Milan: Dear - Name brand clothing, shoes (we'll be getting all the sizes before we go

Cheap - odds and sods

Florence: Dear - Leather purses, wallets, and gloves; wine, although probably too bulky

Cheap - leather bracelets, corkscrews; any other wine related ideas?

Vatican: Saints medallions (part of the family is Portuguese Catholic, so they should be easy to buy for)

We're drawing blank on gifts for Rome and Sorrento for traditional and representative gifts. I read a good suggestion for picking up Limoncello in the duty free zone on the way home, but would still like to pick something up in Sorrento itself. I'm also wary of buying too many food items, but dried pasta and cheeses were also mentioned.

It goes without saying that many bells, key-chains, and paperweights with city names will be bought but we we're just wondering if anyone could think of more representative gifts.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26,086 posts
61 reviews
83 helpful votes
1. Re: Putting together a list of gifts to bring back

Sorrento, I bought little ceramic cork stoppers for bottles, very pretty and inexpensive. There is also a glorious scarf shop there but the scarves aren't particularly traditional while the ceramics are. Beautiful jugs and platters too but somewhat hard to carry home. They sometimes have pretty little holy water fonts that the Catholic side of the family would like. Also some tiles and house numbers that might be easier to carry. Beautiful soaps with citrus flavours.

Florence I got little triangular coin purses in gold stamped leather, very inexpensive. Also leather bookmarks stamped in gold. Both Florence and Venice have the Il Papiro paper shops with the marbled paper, beautiful cards, leather bound journals and diaries, glass pens with nibs etc. Not cheap but lovely. Leather gloves, glasses cases and belts.

Venice/Murano also has inexpensive glass pendants that look amazing on a chain or a silver neck collar, starting very cheaply. Earrings are cheap at some places. Glass cuff links, linen, especially table linen and embroidered baby clothes, lace edged handkerchiefs with hand made Burano lace (you will know you are getting the real ones by the price and the fact that the saleslady uses gloves to show you)

You will find beautiful Italian silk ties everywhere and cheap t shirts in the markets with Italian themes, cars, football teams etc. Ties from Rome might be nice, especially if they have a label. I'm a bit stumped for something specifically Roman, though the markets sell espresso pots, so maybe something like that.


or herbs from the market


I shudder at the excess baggage costs, but have fun choosing.

Level Contributor
4,630 posts
6 reviews
46 helpful votes
2. Re: Putting together a list of gifts to bring back

From Sorrento.... did no-one think of these traditional gifts ?

Intarsia - woodwork with designs worked into them in different woods, giving different colours - anything from a table or musical needlework box to a tile sized 'woodwork picture'.... the different coloured woods are used as 'colour'.

Cameos worked from sea shells (the original cameo) - they really come from workshops along the coastal area between Naples and Sorrento - and coral. The coral can be small charms (e.g. the hunchback man, or the 'corno' horn ) or as necklaces, rings and bracelets. Nowadays, I think you'll find the coral comes from other countries, but there is still some coral in the bay and off Sardinia. I believe the collection of coral is very regulated. I found some in a specialist jewellery shop in the Cilento area, south of Naples, just the coral - as a necklace, and when I asked about whether or not collecting coral is no longer allowed, I was told that the owner's father had stockpiled loads of coral in the 1950s before the regulations became stricter. Also, if you are near Vesuvius, there are items of jewellery made from polished lava / volcanic rock - black or with a glass like polished finish in grey/black - and items such as ash trays (ironic !).

Tiny musical instruments in polished wood, are also from this area particularly the mandolin - and tambourines (used in the tarantella dance in Sorrento). all sizes from 'proper' instruments to wall decorations and toys.

3. Re: Putting together a list of gifts to bring back

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